In Term 4 2016 we ran two pilot programmes of Upwards at two different schools in the Wellington region. We tailored the learning for each school, to meet the needs of the students.

How we did it

School 1:
At this school, the Upwards programme was offered to 45 Year 9 students across two classes, along with a game design programme run by NZCER and Gamefroot. 12 students from these classes chose to attend this session (there were 12 places available, though at times we had 13 or 14 students as students could choose to attend either session). Students were a mix of ethnicities, as well as additional complexity with a couple with more specialist needs. In total, 15 students attended Upwards over the course of the programme.

The pilot started with a pōwhiri at the school marae to formally open the Upwards programme, and lessons were generally run on the marae each week for an hour on Fridays. The programme was run by Christina with the support of one teacher, and focussed more particularly on the ‘life skills’ element of the programmes. We also supported the school’s Year 9 visit to Government House during one of the sessions, and worked this experience into the programme the following week. A prototyping and review process was followed for each lesson. 

School 2:
At this school, up to 18 students were selected by the school from Year 9 and 10 (from about 300 students total), with the criteria that all students were Māori/Pacific learners who showed leadership potential, but weren’t necessarily currently recognised as leaders within the school and needed a boost to get to the next level. Students each week ranged from none (for various reasons) to three to nine at a time. In total, 12 students attended across the course of the programme.  

The pilot started with a mihi whakatau (formal greeting) to formally open the programme. Lessons were run on the marae each week, first as an after-school programme incorporating cooking and eating a meal together, and then later  an hour during the morning as this proved to be easier.  The programme was run by Christina and Tiana (with support from Pania), following a prototyping and review process each week where the previous lesson was reviewed and the next week’s programme planned with the learnings incorporated.